Diving Right Into Some Deep Mysteries of Sports

A team of undersea researchers has found the Titanic, resting in its watery grave. Another group of adventuresome divers, working near Florida, has located the wreck of an old Spanish galleon laden with treasure.

Less well publicized are several recent efforts to solve a series of tragic and mysterious sports disappearances. Following is a brief update on some of the searches:

A team of divers has located the wreck of the Pittsburgh Pirates, in the briny darkness more than 37 games below the surface of the National League East.


Once the pride of the NL fleet, the Pirates sank a couple years ago after the ship was left floundering by a general mutiny of crew and fans.

Divers say that scrawled on the side of the rusting hulk is: “We are hist-o-ree.”

Asked if the wreck could be somehow floated to the surface, a spokesman for the team of divers said, “Why bother?”

NEW YORK--The search continues for major league baseball’s Integrity, which disappeared up several dozen players’ noses.

ANAHEIM--The rest of the American League is searching frantically for clues to explain the sudden disappearance of the famed Angels Arson Squad.

This colorful gang, which derived its name from an inability to put out “fires” (rallies by opposing teams), hid out in a corner of Anaheim Stadium, its various members disguised as relief pitchers.

For years, the squad provided entertainment by allowing visiting batsmen to light up the night sky with late-inning fireworks.

Authorities have detained Donnie Moore for questioning in the case. Moore is suspected to be the ringleader of the gang responsible for the Arson’s Squad’s disappearance.

LOS ANGELES--Rescue ships have been dispatched to keep the Los Angeles Raiders from sinking while the ship is in dry-dock, awaiting the season’s maiden voyage.

“Geez, what’s the big deal?” a Raider spokesman said when reporters relayed the general concern that the Raiders’ 1-3 exhibition season record might be an indication of the team’s relative strength. “We’re always right here this time of year. There’s no cause for alarm. We were mainly using the exhibition games to take a look at some kids, like Lyle Alzado and Jim Plunkett.

“We’ll be OK once we set sail. We’ve sprung a couple leaks, sure, but Al and Tom are down there working on ‘em. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some bailing to do. Say, has anyone seen Pete Rozelle scuba diving around here?”

ANAHEIM--The Eric Dickerson, last sighted powering through enemy blockades, is still missing.

The biggest and most intimidating ship in its class, or anyone’s class, the Eric D was considered unsinkable. However, Dickerson struck a contract impasse two months ago and quickly sunk into an easy chair in front of a TV set somewhere in the vicinity of Houston.

Communication between the Eric D and the Rams’ command post has become garbled. Ram officials are using sophisticated sonar and tracking devices to try to locate their flagship.

“How about using a telephone?” someone suggested to a Ram executive.

“A what ?” the executive replied.

DALLAS--Agents of the dreaded terrorist group, the IRS, armed with automatic calculators, have made off with a large treasure known as Dorsett’s doubloons.

BOSTON--Archeologists sifting through the ruins of the ancient Boston Garden have uncovered artifacts proving the existence of the legendary Celtic Dynasty.

The scientists dug up several championship banners, buried under the remains of crumbled egos and broken dreams. They also dug up a fat, bald man who was holding a large, mangled cigar and mumbling, “Anybody got a light?”

CHAVEZ RAVINE--Undersea researchers are combing the general area where the Original ’85 Dodgers disappeared two months ago.

The Original Dodgers was an unwieldy tub, with no rudder. The crew, mostly jugglers and clowns, provided entertainment for the rest of the National League fleet.

But the ship disappeared without a trace two months into the season, after being hit broadside by a series of stinging one-liners fired by sportswriters.

The old scow was quickly replaced by a new, sleeker craft and a highly competent crew that bears a striking facial resemblance to the old crew.

Skipper Tom Lasorda broke nautical tradition by refusing to go down with the ship. For surviving the ill fated final cruise of the Original ’85 Dodgers, Lasorda has been promoted from the rank of buffoon first class to fleet genius.

Lasorda has declined to participate in the search for the missing Original ’85 Dodgers, saying: “I have enough trouble just finding my car keys, pal. And listen--if you locate that tub, do me a favor and keep it out of sight until November.”